Habitat for Humanity International is activating its response to Hurricane Michael. Habitat is working with its local organizations throughout the storm's path to gather early assessments of the impact in their service areas. Formal assessments will take place over the next several days after first responders are able to complete their work. Initial reports indicate significant wind damage, storm surge and flash flooding in communities in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia.
Hurricane Michael made landfall on Oct. 10 as a Category 4 storm. This is the largest recorded storm to hit the Florida Panhandle. The storm developed from a tropical storm to a major hurricane so quickly that many communities were not able to adequately prepare and fewer people were able to make plans to evacuate. The storm moved through parts of Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia before moving out to sea. The storm has impacted communities still recovering from Hurricane Florence.
The storm impacted an area of Florida that hasn't faced storms of this magnitude in the past. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, more than 145,000 homes in the Florida Panhandle in the storm's path were built before 2000, preceding many of Florida's strong building codes. Habitat has begun surveying its local organizations to evaluate damage in the area and their capacity to respond. Habitat will work with its local organizations to respond, rebuild, and repair homes.